After gradually expanding access to its so-called full self-driving (FSD) beta for the last few years, Tesla is opening it up to anyone who has paid for it, Elon Musk announced in a tweet. “Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta is now available to anyone in North America who requests it from the car screen, assuming you have bought this option,” he said.
FSD is an extension of Tesla’s “Autopilot” driver-assist feature, expanding on the latter with automated functions like automated steering in cities, automatic parking, smart vehicle summoning and traffic light/stop sign recognition. The feature is a paid upgrade priced at $15,000 following a price hike of $3,000 in September.
Tesla first promised to launch full self-driving features in 2018, but they only finally appeared in July 2021 to a small number of “expert and careful drivers.” It was released more widely in the version 9.0 beta, but testers were limited to an early access program. On the last FSD release, Tesla dropped the requirement for at least 100 Autopilot miles and an 80 safety score, and now anyone who wants it can have it.
However, Tesla is rolling out FSD widely at a time when it’s under scrutiny from regulators. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently expanded its investigation into a series of Tesla crashes involving first responders to most models. In a separate probe, it’s also looking into more than 30 incidents involving Autopilot.
Musk has promised full self-driving with no one behind the wheel for some time now. Most recently, he said he thought it could arrive this year, but backed off those claims in Tesla’s latest earnings report. Tesla’s stock has been on a steep decline of late, following Elon Musk’s $44 billion purchase of Twitter.
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